Using tanning oil to enhance your tan seems pretty straightforward, but you should keep in mind that certain considerations will ensure you get a glowing tan without doing damage to your skin. Tanning oils essentially enhance the ultraviolet radiation of the sun or tanning booth to make your skin even darker. If the product is used incorrectly, however, it may simply contribute to burns on your skin.
Protect Your Skin
Not all tanning oils are created equal. Different commercial brands offer varying tanning oils, which may contain elements ranging from anti-aging properties to sunscreen protection. Those without sunscreen protection are designed to only enhance your exposure to ultraviolet sunlight, which may easily cause burns or a tan that is darker than you want. With that in mind, be careful about how long you stay in the sun using this kind of oil. You should never apply tanning oil to your face, regardless of whether it contains sunscreen protection, as the skin on your face is the most sensitive.
Use the Appropriate Product
Check the labels on tanning oils before you use them so you know whether the one you have chosen is the right kind for you. Different tanning oils are made of varying substances, and may cause allergies to those who have more sensitive skin. If you prefer tanning in a tanning bed, make sure the tanning oil you use is safe for the machine, as some products can cause damage to the surface of the bed. It's best to test tanning oil on a small area of the skin to make sure it is the right kind for you before investing in it.
Getting an Even Tan
Exfoliate your skin before using tanning oil to remove the top layer of dead skin cells. You may also wish to shave before rather than after tanning. Doing this will help you focus the tan on the healthy skin underneath, and ensure you get a more even tan. It may also be beneficial for you to tan standing up, indoors or outdoors, to make sure you get a perfect 360-degree tan without any strange lines or spots.
Keeping Your Tan
Try using a tanning oil that also moisturizes. Skin that is well moisturized retains a tan longer than dry skin, which can flake and shed dead skin cells. To ensure you keep your healthy skin, and the tanned glow for longer, also remember to continue moisturizing every day after you've finished tanning. This will properly hydrate your skin with vitamins and nutrients to keep the tan from fading.
Chrys Lin has been working professionally in journalism since 2003. Her work has appeared in publications in the United States and parts of Asia. She currently resides in Texas and holds a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism.